What’s Wrong with Television?

        You ever wonder what happened to television? What happened to shows like Little House on the Prairie, The Walton’s – the good wholesome family shows that used to come on when we were growing up? The ones that come on now like The Secret Life of an American Teenager, Degrassi; what has happened to television programming? I know what you are going to say – Life.

I was cleaning the house, taking care of the typical Saturday morning rituals. As I was loading the dishwasher Ally, my youngest was watching Transformers. She knows this movie word for word and she tends to play along with the movie. I walked into the living room to reinforce she had taken care of her hair, and I hear someone (and her) call someone a *#^*.  And as I turn to her, she does not even look up to see the appalled look on my face.  Now, I am trying to rationalize, she has watched this movie 1,000 times, so why is this the first time I had heard that. I shook it off, regrouped and hurried back to my chores.

It is the strangest thing. Television programming filled with pregnant teenagers, homosexual couples, children telling their parents how to live their lives, and schools where promiscuity isn’t even noticed, or is accepted as a way of life. Movies and music filled with profanity and violence.

Growing up I can not remember my father ever using profanity. He still doesn’t in the presence of his children. My daughter has had to have her mouth threatened with her choice of soap on an occasion or two, as a result of her father’s inability to control himself. My youngest has yet to have this happen, but I am assuming she too will taste the freshness of Dial one day. She has less control than her sister.

I have to wonder why the world has changed to this. I have made one girl to age 19 and ready to begin college. I have talked with her many times about what we, as a family, believe spiritually, and hope she has learned something. If so, then she will be able to provide a home and a two-parent family for her children. This will keep her from having to work twice as much to be two parents.

I have also spoken with her about carrying that bar of soap with her as a reminder. Jess was here for her last night before leaving for college. We lay in bed watching episodes of Hot in Cleveland. Jess is a major Betty White fan. In the show, when Valerie Bertinelli would have a mishap, she would express her anger in some unconventional way, like puppy toes or something. Growing up, my father never used profanity around us. My mother, well, when she lost her temper she used profane words and I think she created new ones.

       You know, you want to raise your children right. Then you realize right changes so much, you have to wonder – what is right? I don’t think anyone knows anymore. I know I want grandkids, but not until there are two employed parents to give them everything they need. Then I can give them everything they want. Works for me!

        Published September 29, 2011, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench.

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